Saturday, January 14, 2006

Tread Softly Lest I Hear You

A few things have caught my eye of late and have led to my devoting a lot of thought to them; none more so that the statement by a certain person here on campus that “silence is over-hyped”. As per his theory, the first sign of a newborn’s well-being is the first scream. Then again, conversations lead to more geniality and friendship etc etc.

It is his view therefore, that people just hype silence and that it is not really such a great thing. At first look, this theory struck me as more than just slightly absurd, as I have always believed in the merits of silence. Solitude seems to go hand-in-hand with silence and I believe that solitude leads to peace and self-comprehension.

As I thought further though, another thought struck me. While we B-schoolers are often rightly accused of delving into meaningless droning on the topic of definitions, in the current context, I found it extremely pertinent to delve into just what silence really means. It seems innocuous at first. We all know that silence is just the absence of any sound around you. But is that really all?

What of the voices within my head? The ones that range from being the silent strains of a symphony of violins to the violent thoughts that reach a crescendo. Are they silent? There are times that I hear music in my head. It’s all there. It could be a song I have heard before or at another moment, just a tune that drifts through me. It could be a piece of genius by Bach or a lifelike take on drug abuse by Metallica or the searing brilliance of Roger Waters. What is a silent scream? The moment when my mind screams out and yet I say nothing…

Ostensibly these affect just me. They’re in my head; they’re my thoughts; my feelings. Is it still silent though? It may be outside me, but within me, the effect they have on me is the same as hearing them on a 150,000 Watt system. It’s not really silent within me. It never is. None of us can run away from it. There’s always something that is happening within you. And most of it is beautiful. Most of it is you actually. The real person speaking….to the only person who would understand…

What of silence though? The conventional outward silence. Is it over-hyped? In truth, I don’t think so. Silence is the only thing that really helps oneself. It is the only time that you can actually listen to what is happening within and realise the most beautiful things about yourself and your world. For nothing is more beautiful than a thought. Nothing is more enchanting than music that enthrals the spirit and captures, even if only for the briefest of moments, the thoughts flitting through the mind…

I have had occasion to witness quite a few interesting takes on silence though. Most people I know are afraid of it. They’d rather avoid it…run away from it. And yet, it’s right there. What is silence? It’s you. There is no other way to sum it up. The only reason to be afraid of it…would be if you’re afraid of yourself. And truth be told, while most of us do not believe this to be true and would never admit it, even if we did, most of us are afraid of ourselves…

9 comments:

Abhishek said...

This blog was recommended to me.

And definitely it was not a redundant recommendation.

!xobile said...

silence is golden.
the outer one is insignificant.
It is the inner that counts.

Thoughts are desires, thoughts are worries, thoughts are pain.
Inner silence is heaven.

Zarine said...

Beautiful.

Silence leads to questions. Either intrinsic or extrinsic. Its like gaping at a vaccum. If you wanna be silent and at peace with urself, that gap needs to be filled. And the gap is the one between what you actually are and what the world perceives you to be. Its painful coz, often to fill up this vaccum we need to challenge both these views. Challenge status quo withing ourselves. But without disturbance, no progression can be made.

Many cant handle this,hence dont like silence...they are more comfortable with what 'should be',instead of 'what actually is'.

Err..I hope I made sense, hon :)

Darth Midnightmare said...

@Abhishek: Thank you. Am flattered, really.

@Ze Exaggerator: Very true. Inner silence is what the highest philosophers have varyingly called bliss or being one with the Self. very difficult indeed...

@Zarine: And mademoiselle, when do you fail to make sense? Anyway, it is indeed true that the gap needs to be filled, but the fact is, in my opinion, that it needs to be filled only in notion. There are no real gaps. We just don't see what lies in that vacuum...

Anonymous said...

we equate our existance with ideas (braodly speaking) which cannot be xpressed without word/s minus it and u r silent, in other words #$(*#$(too much dependence.....)challenging ur own xistance is unacceptable to the mind. its the nothingness that is real silent and not the solitude whr u spk to urself abt u n the world.

Anonymous said...

solitude can be achieved amidst crowd... it's just wen u detach urself frm things happening arnd n take it with equanimty that is solitude..

StupendousMan said...

Brother,
just got back from goa, and amidst the maddening crowds and rocking music - trance and otherwise, i had my share of silence for a minute while parasailing. struck me how quiet the world looks and sounds from up there...
i've always found that the sounds inside my head are louder than anything else around me... sometimes though, i need things around me to be quiet to hear whaT's happening on the inside. silence isn't overhyped. i think its quite underestimated... i remember an e-card a friend sent me once - sometimes, between friends,its not the talking but the not needing to talk that really matters. you know what i mean? sharing silences? i think its quite nice. Cheers.

Darth Midnightmare said...

@Anon: Very true. Silence and solitude lie within not without...and hence they can be attained anywhere.

@Stupendousman: Yep. Reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend here, the gist of which was that we're good friends, not because we meet everyday and talk or anything, because we don't. We are good friends because we don't need to talk to each other in order to communicate. Because we can share a silence and have spoken a million words within it...

BTW, hope the Goa trip was enjoyed...man, I envy you...

StupendousMan said...

hey mike,

goa trip was awesome... some things don't get old... and the trip is one of them. feels great to have the most difficult part of b-school behind you... the holiday is so much cooler. kepp bloggin.. i'm still seekin inspiration. still thinkin about the hotties from goa.
cheers.